Date of Award

January 2022

Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Public Health (MPH)


School of Public Health

First Advisor

Judith H. Lichtman


Objectives. This Place Is A Message is a populist performing arts piece created by Faultline Ensembles to explore the relationship between the individual emotional experience and the collective trauma of the climate change crisis. Through personal narratives and emotional appeals, this production seeks to build community solidarity through community-led storytelling and harness participatory theater for climate change communication to be used to find climate solutions in a joint manner. Methods. Data was collected and analyzed using a mixed-methods approach utilizing self-reported surveys, including audience pre-show (N=75) and post-show (N=48) assessments and a survey of cast and crew members (N=14). Additionally, audience members and collaborators were asked to share their feelings about climate change on individual ribbons and wooden tokens to be used in future art displays. Results. Audience members enjoyed the production, particularly the unique outdoor venue, participatory performance, and integration of real-world narratives. Open-ended responses indicate the prominence of negative emotional responses to climate change, particularly anxiety, sadness, and anger. Significant associations were difficult to detect due to small sample size. 71.4% (n=10 of 14) of collaborators expressed that their opinions on climate change were changed due to participation in the project. All collaborators felt like they were equal members of the production process, that their opinions were heard, and that they would work with the ensemble again in the future. Conclusion. Future iterations of this study would benefit from theoretical frameworks, a pre-post study design, and alternative data collection methods. The emotional appeal of theater and live performance art provide a fertile ground for climate communications as well as future opinion and behavior change.


This is an Open Access Thesis.

Open Access

This Article is Open Access